Archive for the ‘Stencils’ Category

Rafat

July 26, 2010

Rafat

These stenciled letters have a jittery life to them. With their varying heights, they look like they’re about to leap off the metal surface and dance into the streets.

The two-toned background is startling and all those scrapes revealing an underlayer of blue paint have a primal energy, like the liquid scrawls of a Jackson Pollock drip painting.

Once you start paying attention to dumpsters you realize that each has a unique personality—and this one is loud and joyful.

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Kenco

July 6, 2010

Kenco

From construction to the G20 to Pride, the city has been a maze of detours and diversions lately. Part of the pleasure is encountering new signs everywhere. Sometimes a strange word on a strange surface can make me absurdly happy.

This is a ramp in front of a gas station, positioned to compensate for a torn up road surface. You may already know that I love stenciled type. Here the sound of “Kenco” (try saying it aloud now!) combined with the fact that the “C” and the “O” are rectangular results in a sign that gives more joy than an orange popsicle.

What’s the best sign you’ve seen so far this summer?

Rex Dale (Rexdale)

February 1, 2010

Rex Dale (Rexdale)

The name is Rexdale on the opposite side of this container, but on this side it looks more like Rex Dale.

Rex has a don’t-mess-with-me attitude. He dominates the space between sidewalk and road with tank-like authority and the stenciled letters of his name add to the air of military seriousness.

I have no idea what sort of secrets Mr. Dale keeps; he’s not exactly the forthcoming sort. He does have lids on top that some curious soul could open. Frankly, I’m a bit too intimated to interfere with his privacy.

Positive

November 18, 2009

Positive

Stenciled lettering is one of the speediest methods of turning a surface into a sign. Like many things designed with utility as the foremost consideration, it can have a peculiar beauty.

I noticed this impromptu sign underfoot. Sometimes when that happens it turns out to be an advertisement masquerading as street art. Here something different is going on.

Perhaps it’s a statement about living with HIV and the sensation of being labeled. Or is it an exhortation to be optimistic? Its teasing ambiguity is also its appeal.